For coffee enthusiasts, there’s a lot of stigma around automatic coffee brewing machines. The auto drip machine is looked down upon with great disdain. This is unfortunate, because most average coffee consumers come from place of brewing on something simple like a Mr Coffee.
The reasons for that are pretty clear – you don’t need to think about brewing the coffee, the machine just does it for you. On top of that, if you get a fancier machine, you can have it brew for you at set times, giving the wonderful gift of waking up to the smell of fresh brewed coffee.
But these auto drip machines have some serious downfalls, if you care about getting the most out of your coffee.
In short, they aren’t optimized to create the best extraction. One of the greatest problems with the more average style of auto drip machine is the build quality of the water heater means over time (often it doesnt take long) your brewer won’t be brewing at optimal temperature. Even if it’s still brewing at 190 degrees (which will look quite hot to you), you will already not be getting the best extraction of taste from your coffee at that temperature (ideal being 202-205 for a drip machine). These machines also don’t distribute water very well to the grounds in the basket, and they aren’t designed with a specific rate of flow in mind.
In comes the SCA certification for home brewers. There are a select few brewers out there certified by The Speciality Coffee Association, and Oxo’s Barista Brain Brewer is one of them.
This certification assures you a few key things:
The coffee will always be brewed with the optimal water temperature.
The coffee will be evenly brewed in the basket.
The coffee will be of the proper range of extraction (provided you use the correct ground size and amount of coffee).
The coffee will remain in a certain temperature range after brewing.
Let’s take a look at the Oxo Barista Brain Coffee Brewer.
Diving right into the taste of the coffee: I’ve had the fortune of trying coffee on a lot of different machines and hand brewing devices, so I have a good grasp of the range of what is possible, and what the coffees I’m brewing with can and should taste like. I’m pleased to say that coffee brewed on the Oxo comes out just about as good as you can get from an auto drip machine. The cup is full flavored, balanced, and tasting as I would expect. I say ‘as good as you can get from an auto drip machine’ because you can’t beat the full control and taste potential of a skillfully hand-brewed coffee without forking over $15000 for a [pour over machine] or a steampunk.
I can say that this is probably the best way to make coffee for a large number of people. The 9 cup Oxo brews up to 1200 ml of coffee, which will give you 5 eight-ounce cups of coffee. And if you do happen to churn through that, making another batch is as easy as pushing a button (or even just two buttons, if you have the Oxo Barista Brain Coffee Grinder).
That of course, makes Oxo's Barista Brain Grinder the perfect pairing. After checking out my review on the brewer above, have a look at the grinder here…